Saturday, March 15, 2008

"The Holiday" (2006)

Thursday night, I enjoyed a great dinner some great conversation and a really good movie that I thought I would share.

THE HOLIDAY is a feel good romantic comedy set in two magical kingdoms of England and Los Angeles and both are beautifully set, lit and add to the characters stories and journeys. Nancy Meyers has written a very entertaining film pleasing to the eye, and to the heart. It’s a definite romantic comedy but with an creative slant, involving two women who have recently broken off nightmare relationships, and want to get away from it all as far away from it all as they can get. One lives in England, the other in California, and they agree to swap houses for their respective vacations over the internet. It's a cute idea, and for the most part, it works. Since the women have both sworn off men for a while, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess the first thing that happens when each arrives at the other's home. Both meet new people, have new experiences, and learn some things about themselves. The story line in England was the better scripted of the two, perhaps because the California story is burdened with some Hollyweird entertainment industry stereotypes.

The script was apparently written with these very actors in mind. Kate Winslett is the film's greatest strength, approaching her role with the lighthearted breeziness that is intended. Her character is easy to love, and some of the banter with veteran actor Eli Wallach as her curmudgeonly neighbor is a fun and interesting highlight.

The Holiday was a surprisingly good film that, in my opinion, prevails over all those stupid comedies that have absolutely nothing successful about them but the cash they take in at the box office. The Holiday, however, has good acting, and the perfect mix of comedy and drama to make a great film.

The cast of Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Carmen Diaz worked magic on the screen and the warmth of the Santa Ana winds added to the excitement of Kate's journey to Los Angeles. Adding Eli Wallach and his group of friends was brilliant and his own journey and friendship with Kate was terrific and so enjoyable and added the luster of Hollywood history and screen writing to the story.


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